Coaching helps you define the road ahead and supports you in doing it to the best of your ability, using all your best resources. Here's what it consists of, what types exist, and what its benefits are.

Whether you want to make progress in a particular area of your life, overcome a problem, implement a change or just getting back on track, you may have thought about turning to a service of coaching.

Or, maybe you like the idea of creating an impact in other people's experience and would like to train as a coach yourself....

In either case, have you ever wondered what it really means to make coaching?

Yes, because there is a huge difference between teach to someone and help him learn.

Do you agree?

Let me explain: when it comes to coaching, you might often imagine the classic coach-motivator who cheers you on, yelling in your ear and intimating you not to give up. Or the one who can find you a solution for everything, as if he has a magic wand, and tell you exactly what you should do. 

Actually, the issue is quite different...

The idea behind it is that anyone is able to achieve their goals or find the answer to their problems-the point is that you often need a helping hand to find the right way to do it.

To get the best out of people, we have to believe that this best is right there, inside them; but how do we know it is there, how much of it is there, and how can we bring it out?

That's where coaching comes in: a process in which you are supported in making a substantial change and building self-confidence that will produce equally impactful and positive consequences in your life.

Well, but what exactly does this little word (which, for a change, we like to keep in English, because it's obviously cooler) mean?

I'll explain it right away: here is the meaning of coaching, the various types and its main benefits.

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What is coaching

I'll make it short for you: coaching can be defined as a method To achieve set goals.

In fact, to be more precise, it is a set of methods of training, focused on a person and his or her needs, to enable him or her to take the path he or she wants and reach the goal in the safest and most effective way.

So what does coaching mean and what does a coach do?

Coaching is a process which aims to unlock, develop and coach your potential to maximize performance by providing you with the support you need to learn what you need.

This is the definition given by the same John Withmore, former racing driver and founder of modern coaching.

So here is where the coach helps you, the coachee (i.e., the client or student), to set a goal and find the best way to achieve it. It does not tell you how to achieve success, but it offers support to become aware of your abilities and train them so that you can make the most of them.

Although there are many different models of coaching (I'll explain them well in a moment), the coach should not be understood so much as an "expert" but, rather, as a "facilitator of learning." A person who is impartial, who does not judge you, willing to give you direction, but at the same time leaving you the space to figure out for yourself how to go forward.

A key belief underlying coaching, in fact, is that all the answers you seek are already inside you: the coach's role is to help you find them, through increased awareness and insight.

How coaching works

Coaching we can say is based on some important principles:

  • there are no "right" or "wrong" people, only people who need to be guided in their search for what they need;
  • each individual has the power and potential to achieve his or her goals;
  • All actions are carried out with positive intentions;
  • people are constantly changing, and this process is inevitable;
  • everyone tries to choose the best option from the opportunities available to them.

So let's imagine that you turn to a coach: the relationship between you is based on a real process, made up of steps and consequential steps, to get you from point A to point B.

In the interaction, which occurs during the coach session, the coach asks you questions through which you can find your own solutions. To ensure that you achieve progress, the first thing to do is to define goals: you are then usually encouraged to create a list of action points so that you know which steps to follow in order to move forward. Then, again through dialogue, the coach helps you find the best way to do this.

coaching meaning

It is very interesting what he explains Timothy Gallwey (known as one of the fathers of coaching, along with the aforementioned Whitmore), in his book entitled The Inter Game of Tennis. In fact, based on his experience as a tennis coach, he shows you how an athlete can improve his performance: by removing interference from his head.

The concept is simple: your worst enemy is you!

You know that little voice that keeps telling you that something is too difficult or impossible for you, that you are not good/prepared/competent enough, and so on? Here, the idea is precisely to ignore this "dialogue" you have with yourself, made up of judgments and bad evaluations, in order to reach the goal successfully. This is why we talk about the "inner game": it is A challenge between you and you.

Just think, there is even a formula expressing it:

Performance = potential - interference

What it means. That in order to have excellent performance and achieve your goals, you need to act in two directions: develop potential and limit interference. And that the biggest obstacles to your success are internal, not external.

The purpose of the coaching process is to help you silence this inner voice and Allow your instincts to take over.

Coaching: types

The world of coaching is diverse and ever-expanding (like everything else these days, after all).  There are so many areas where it can be applied: think that in Italy there is even a standard (UNI 11601:2015) that officially defines and classifies the various types. Here they are in brief!

Life Coaching

Life Coaching supports you in setting and achieving your personal and professional goals, in any aspect of your life. It helps you in improving your daily life, make you more confident, achieve a specific goal, recognize your value and abilities.

Business Coaching

Perhaps among the best known, Business Coaching helps leaders, managers, freelancers, or anyone with an interest, to manage and direct their business in the most effective and profitable way. It then enables you to define (and achieve) your goals, improve business performance, reduce stress at work, communicate more effectively, optimize time, and increase the motivation.

Executive Coaching

Executive Coaching is somewhat related to Business Coaching: it enhances the skills of those in management roles or otherwise at the top of a company, to support them in leading their team, acquiring new skills, sustaining their business over the long term-so they can see their authority and make a long-term difference in an increasingly competitive market.

Sports Coaching

Here we obviously change scope, but not purpose: Sport Coaching helps athletes (and their staff) face training, competitions, victories and defeats with the right mindset. The idea is to support them to have the right mindset for each performance, so that they can perform to their fullest potential and optimize their sports results.

The benefits of coaching

Regardless of your goals, devoting time and space to your personal or professional development is always a good thing. That's why working with a coach offers a number of benefits:

  • It gives you clarity, direction and focus;
  • It increases your awareness in understanding and in case changing the way you think and act;
  • It helps you in dealing with small and large changes;
  • It allows you to become aware of your capabilities and what you need to achieve your goal;
  • It speeds up your learning when you need to learn a new skill;
  • As a leader, it helps you improve your decision-making and strategic planning skills;
  • It improves your work skills, productivity and collaboration;
  • It creates a better, more positive and cohesive work environment.


The word "coaching" can mean many things, but basically it is about helping people solve their problems and improve their performance.

It doesn't matter whether it is used in sports, life, or business-a good coach knows that people always have the answer to their problems and just need help unlocking them.

In all this, knowledge and experience are important, but not as much as the mindset: this is where a good coach knows how to intervene, bringing out what is already inside you, waiting for it to be released. In the end, it is always the mind that is the key to getting what you want.

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